Bambitchell, Silent Citizen, 2014. Installation View from Articule, Montréal (photo credit: Guy L’Heureux).
A participatory installation by Bambitchell
March 16 to April 21, 2018
Opening: Friday, March 16 8pm
In 2012, as a part of the Conservative government’s aggressive limits on immigration, a mandatory English, or French language test became a crucial step in Canadian immigration policy. Bambitchell takes aim at this administrative afront in their installation Silent Citizen.
Silent Citizen is a participatory sound and video installation that playfully makes use of the style of karaoke to engage the audience in Immigration Canada’s language test. Laws and policies such as this one are not new, but provide a more bureaucratic face to the processes of racial and cultural exclusion that the Canadian nation-state has practiced since its inception. These laws value certain types of migrants, those that have language proficiency as well as the finances to pay for the tests, and reflect the haunting manner in which language continues to structure processes of citizen-making and colonization within Canada.
Technical and sound design by Heather Kirby.
Previous iterations of Silent Citizen were exhibited at The Images Festival Off-Screen (2014, Toronto) and Articule (Montreal, 2015).
Bambitchell is the artistic collaboration between Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell. Working together since 2009, their works have been exhibited at festivals and galleries such as Articule (Montreal), The Images Festival (Toronto), and The Art Gallery of Windsor and included in a number of publications such as C Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Routledge publication Contemporary Citizenship, Art, and Visual Culture. The duo recently completed a residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany (2015–17) and have an upcoming fellowship at The MacDowell Colony. Their work is currently on display at Gallery TPW, Toronto and as part of Forum Expanded at the Berlinale.